Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Scquilters Swap!

Here in Australia, we have a Yahoo Group, Southern Cross Quilters, fondly known as Scquilters. Dear friend Prue from here in Perth organized a swap of fat-eighths in reproduction fabrics. This swap was conducted Australia-wide for any Squilter who wished to participate - I gave twenty and received twenty in return from various people.

I am really thrilled with the fabrics I have received - thanks so much Prue and to all the girls who participated. I may get a litle time in the next couple of days to do some more CWLL blocks and will include some of the new fabrics.

This is another story again! As some of you know, I started a Babette Blanket - really love doing it and feel sure it will turn out beautifully. However, I really cannot wear wool against my skin and this is not just something that has transpired as I've grown older - I was like that as a wee girl. Poor Mum had to line the sleeves of all my home-made, hand-knitted jumpers and that was all that was available then - no racks of beautiful children's clothes like there is today.

So I have decided to do a re-start using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino - 55% Merino Wool, 33% Microfibre and 12% Cashmere. It is quite a lot more expensive than pure wool, but gentle enough for babies skin, so that will suit me. This one will not be a family give-away, just a little treasure I will keep - maybe it will go to my first great-grandchild - oh, dear, mustn't think that far ahead!

It looks lovely out there this morning, but we are supposed to be in for more rain. Must away, DD, Danielle is trying her hand at eBay and wants some help.

Enjoy today!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

South of the River!

The beautiful Swan River runs through the middle of Perth suburbs causing a divide - north and south of the river! Our Perth quilt guild regularly meets monthly "north of the river" and yesterday a sewing day was arranged "south of the river"! Around 70 people turned up and it was just lovely - a beautiful, bright, sunny day for a change and not so cold. Lots of good company and "show and tell". I must show you another beautiful Sophie Digard scarf (see Post - 2 July). This beauty is beautifully worn by Debbie, the new owner of Calico and Ivy Dorothea, who has been 33 years with the association, turns 90 in December. This should be an inspiration to us all! Dorothea is still a very active stitcher and has taught in Perth for many, many years. The quilt above is English paper-pieced little hexagons and diamonds and was 20 years in the making.
Now, this one, Dorothea has been doing for only a couple of years - just glorious! Her daughter Candy is on the left and dear friend, Gwen is on the right. I felt very honoured to be able to sit, chat and sew (crochet!) with this wonderful group.

Talking about crochet, I am just loving making my Babette Blanket. However, as I am not a great way into it, am thinking of going quite upmarket in wool choice and doing it in Baby Cashmerino - expensive, but so delightfully soft and I do have trouble with wool next to my skin.

Oh, decisions, decisions - we'll see! Today I am going to have a little play with CWLL again - gloomy and rainy here again, so a great day to stay indoors.

Enjoy your weekend everyone - 'bye!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Babette Blanket!

Yesterday, the girls and I went out to play - had a lovely day sewing/crocheting/knitting day at Karen's place. On the way, Julia , Jan and I stopped in at Yarns Galore and I set myself up to start my Babette Blanket.

If you look hard you can see one little 4-round square I crocheted last night - I think this project will be very relaxing and a lot of fun to do. This blanket is inspired by the work of designers Kaffe Fassett and Liza Prior Lucy. The modules are based on the same motif pattern and vary only in the number of rounds work. I downloaded the pattern from the internet at the cost of US$6

I always vowed and declared I would return to crocheting when I was "an old lady" - like I meant 80 years old! I'm a long way off that - but there is such exciting patterns and designs around these days. There are absolutely beautiful yarns out there and oh, the colours.

Christmas in July is being celebrated at my local patchwork group today, I will be taking my blanket along and crocheting instead of eating.

'Bye for now -

Monday, July 21, 2008

Civil War Love Letters - Day 2!

I've had a weekend engrossed in CWLL - a lot of fun, but sometimes confusing.

DH, Ed made me lunch yesterday - roast beef and home-made pickle toasted sandwich, so that was lovely for someone who thinks I make rugs. Then son-in-law, Adrian, walks in and says "Oh, they look good, must be easy"! Easy, I said in dismay, then he says "Oh, well, they are just geometric designs". I must admit Adrian, who is an electrician, does sometimes help me with drawing designs and also installing things on the computer - he thinks he's an expert quilter, now!

I did get confused at times when sewing, trying to work out whether the sections would piece together horizontally or vertically - one I abandoned and then thought I should have kept going as it probably joined differently to what I was envisioning.

A couple didn't get past the auditioning stage - all in all, I made 16. Maybe I will wait until October now to do them with the group - or maybe it will be a project for peaceful weekends, when they happen.

Onto the start of another week - hope it is a good one for everyone!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Civil War Love Letters - Day 1!

Wow! At least my hard days work was worth it yesterday and I even tidied my sewing room.

Today, I could sew in peace and got into the swing of foundation piecing again - I shouldn't be showing off yet, but like Kristie, I just love doing these blocks. I haven't taken the papers off yet, not sure I should do at this stage and I think perhaps I have gone a bit pretty and bright. All fabrics are repro, not necessarily Civil War, as I really don't want a drab quilt.

I have printed out several blocks to start sewing tomorrow morning, all being well! They are a little more complicated, so maybe these blocks here are just auditioning and won't go any further.

It has been very cold here today with beautiful sunshine - so lovely after our stormy weather. I am looking forward to a quiet evening in front of tele with needle or hook in hand.

Hope you are all enjoying your weekend - best wishes!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cats, Dogs and Potpourri!

What a wonderful gesture! Last Tuesday we went to the monthly meeting/sewing day of our state guild, WAQA, and a great day of friendship was shared by all.

On the table next to our group, Creative Threads, a lady was hand-quilting this cute, whimsical quilt of cats and dogs and guess what, it is a charity quilt. Last year our Past President set up an activity whereby one could choose a UFO that belonged to someone else and finish it for charity. How generous of Pam Burgoyne to put all that time and love into completing this cutie!

Our weather is really wild and wooly and unfortunately I am overcome by guilts and must get some housework done today. I have plenty to think about while I am slaving my little fingers to the bone.

The runner in the middle was a free pattern from Quiltbus a year or two ago and has been soooo popular! We have all made lots for family and friends.

Then we have A Is For Apron, top right - friend Pat has loaned me the book which has really trendy patterns for aprons.

Lower right - my scarf - I am hooked on it (pardon the pun!) and it is very slowly growing.

One of Kaffe Fassett's latest books, just fabulous. I love the way he turns antique quilts into modern and there is even one based on Jane Austen's famous quilt in there.

Kristie has started her Civil War Love Letters blocks and they look just great - so tempting, I would like to make a start.

I have promised myself I will get back to patchwork and quilting this weekend - let's see if I can keep that promise. Perhaps I should make myself promise I won't go near this computer also, then I will really get some fun things done.

I'm off to do boring chores, dinner is in the slow-cooker, so I'll be racing through chores to get back to play. Have a great weekend everyone!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thoughts and Prayers for Dear Friends!

Dear friend, Maggie, above, with her three grandchildren plus two, phoned me late Monday afternoon from Brisbane to have a little chat and to let me know mutual friend, Jenny Reynolds of the Gold Coast has been through very risky surgery.

Maggie married a US military man, Jim, and lived in various places around the world and in the US for thirty years. She returned to settle in Brisbane and I had the good fortune to make a very dear friend of Maggie. Being a very creative and talented lady, Maggie shared wonderful ideas and fabrics from America and we shared very precious times together.

Maggie now makes bags and sells them at a Designer's Emporium , is very active in her church group and other associations - I guess one could call her a Professional Pleasure Seeker, too!

Now, to dear Jenny - many Australians will be familiar with Jenny Reynolds. Jenny is an extremely talented quilter and known for her ruched flowers, little girls, beautiful applique and hand-quilting. She has been featured in many patchwork magazines and has been designing and being published longer than I have been quilting, so that is over twelve years.

The story behind the Dancing Dolly Cushion is interesting. Our cottage group, Kindred Spirits, met weekly and as often happens we shared many beautiful home-made yummies and lunches. Jenny wasn't into cooking and out of the blue one day she surprised us all. She came in with about fourteen beautiful cushions and we could all take our pick. There was so much excitement and surprise and I treasure my dolly cushion and always will!

Jenny is a very private person, so I won't go into her illness, but my thought and prayers for a speedy recovery are with her.

Best wishes everyone!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Having a Great Weekend!

Here's a pic of my three grandsons , Bailey, Byron and Tyler. I am so proud of them all and must tell you about Tyler's great day yesterday. Even though he is only 17 he plays A Grade Australian Football League for his local club Warnbro Swans. Yesterday was their Heritage Match as the club turned 20 years old. Though they didn't win the match, they put in a brilliant effort and Tyler was selected Player of the Field. I am so proud that he can get in there with adult men and stand out amongst them. His sportmanship, good nature, manners and athletic ability are to be admired.
Naughty Lyn! She has taken me away from my quilting (only temporarily) and has me going on all things "yarny". The little scarf motifs are time consuming, but I love working with the colours and they are a lot of fun. The 8-ply is to start a Babette Blanket - probably lots of you are familiar with it , but it's new to me. I love the Koigu yarn from Canada, but cannot justify the expense with all the "quilty" things I buy. Lyn is making a great throw with various yarns she has collected over the years, so I thought I might start collecting for "one day" - starting with the 2 in the top right- hand corner. I will post photos of Lyn with all her goodies, soon.
Myra , thank you so much for the above award - I was truly surprised! Myra is a Canadian blogger friend and we visit each other all the time.

Now to pick 5 blocks that inspire me - well, that is a really difficult task. Several have already been chosen and I get so much pleasure from so many people, wish I could choose 20.

- With Needle in Hand - Donna, who is into all things quilty and crochet, too!
- Once Upon a Quilt - Christine, a very dear friend for many years, has taught so many people so much and has been a great mate to me.
- Blue Shadow Pony - Helz, who lives a wonderful country life in Queensland and likes the same music I do.
- Chookyblue - Donna, another country girl who is a great photographer and gives of her time to help folks with their blogs.
- Inspired By Antique Quilts - Kathie, we like so many things the same and I'm looking forward to doing CWLL with her and Kristie.
- Wraggedy Patches - how could I not mention Candace, she has been a regular visitor of mine since day dot and I've forgotten how to count.

I could go on forever, but I will probably be in trouble for sneaking a couple more in, anyhow.
Must away - best wishes everyone - hope your weekend is as good as mine!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ducks and Other things!


Our lake is really full at the moment with all the recent rains we have had and are still having. I took the puppies and Byron down to feed the ducks after I had returned from Friendship Day at Roleystone on Wednesday. The lake is looking beautiful, but it was a bit drizzly that day and battling with dogs, kid and a camera was not easy, so I will get better photos of the lake soon.
I have received two new fabric metreages - Nineteenth Century Backgrounds II by Judie Rothermal . I love the foreground fabric - sort of little apples - probably too busy for some for a background, but I like busy!

The little petal four patches - well, I've just started, but it could be the start of something big. Dear Jane fans will recognize it.

As though I don't have enough to do with my quilting - remember the gorgeous scarf I posted there a little while back - dear Lyn has inspired a group of us to crochet - well, hopefully that will be the start of something not so big - just big enough to wear around my neck. Civil War Love Letters starts towards the end of October, so hopefully it will be done by then.

Jan and Bill joined us on our travels to the US last October/November - Bill and his Seven Wives, we had a lot of laughs about that. None of us will ever forget the trip! Jan and Bill are off shortly travelling around Australia in a well-earned trip after all their working years. Julia has helped Jan set up a blog, Gallivantour have a peep at the fabulous beast on wheels. I am sure they will both be very comfortable and Jan will have plenty of room for all her fabrics and yarns.

Enough talking for today - have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dolly Quilt Swap Finished!

My Dolly Quilt Swap is finished and it was a lot of fun watching it grow to the grand size of 22" x 17".

The little hexagon flowers are English paper-pieced and I then hand quilted it. I made the Suffolk Puffs with a Clover Yo-yo Maker. I found the yo-yo maker to be very quick and easy, though to my way of thinking not quite as neat as the old traditional way

My dear Mum (90 in October), who lives with us, doesn't want me to give the quilt away and doesn't understand how it could be swapped for another not knowing what it could be. I know who it is going to and I think it will be appreciated - hope so!

Am having a day at home today so will play with fabric - cold, but beautiful and sunny outside.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Civil War Love Letter Quilt


My book and CD has arrived - this project will start in October led by Rosemary Youngs, an award-winning quilter and designer, and author of this book. Rosemary has also written The Civil War Diary Quilt and The Amish Circle Quilt.

I have made a promise to myself that I will keep up with this project. Often I fall by the wayside as I'm so involved with other things ... anyone else who does this? It is a really lovely quilt with so many interesting stories behind each block - I intend doing only so many blocks and putting them around a medallion in the middle.
The background fabric here is a beautiful orangey-red paisley made for The-Virginia-Quilt-Museum. I bought it when I was in Houston last November. It was very inexpensive to my way of thinking and sold as a backing, so I think I have 4 yards of it.
There are approximately 28 Australian girls in our Squilters Repro Swap - I wonder how many will be doing the CWLL quilt? We are all looking forward to our little parcels arriving later in the month. Prue will be busy - but what a way to be busy - sorting through stacks of beautiful fat eighths!
It is a very cold morning here today and at the moment we have bright sunshine - must get on to other things, so have lovely day everyone!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Kaffe & Repros!

It is a bleak, rainy day here today ... the best we can do to lift our spirits is play with beautiful fabrics!

The above pic is part of my stash mixing antique reproduction fabrics with Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I have worked a little with Kaffe Fassettt fabrics, really admire him, his fabrics and designs. There are three of Kaffe's in this little array.


On the left here we have the Kaffe fabrics, and on the right we have fabrics from the 1800's. The middle rolls are all Judie Rothermal's - a great researcher of American antique quilts and fabrics.

Throughout the week, a few friends and I were discussing fabric colour - I had a little giggle as they think the colours I use are "muted". Maybe, maybe not - I know only what I see. I think they thought I had gone a little crazy when I said one can mix repros with Kaffe's fabrics.

I do know that I am going to have a lovely weekend playing with my pretty colours. Enjoy your weekend - a bit sad for the sport people and outdoor workers of Perth - it's a bit wet out there!

'Bye!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Mishka

Happy 4th July to all you American folk!

The girls on Quiltville Chat are talking about nasty ticks on their dogs so I thought I would show you a photo of our beautiful Siberian Husky,Mishka. She brought us so much joy for ten years and then a nasty paralysis tick took her life when we lived in Brisbane. Our vet was so kind as she was such a beautiful creature and he knew how much we loved her - he stayed all night at the practice with her, but couldn't save her. He made arrangements to have her buried under a large tree on a beautiful property outside of Brisbane. Thank goodness we move on, but what do they say "a man's best friend ...".

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Wish It Was Mine!
















Yesterday, we all had a great day at Robin's sewing (not really - I didn't do a stitch). Robin looked after us with lots of coffee and great food.
Also, we had Lyn along, with great fabrics for sale at $4 a fat-quarter - a great price here and also the yummiest repros you could ever see. She also had wonderful Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler fabrics, so the girls went a bit crazy! Lyn is just delightful and I can see another person joining our Creative Threads - she blended in beautifully with us all.

I really have to make today's posting about the most beautiful scarf I have ever seen. It belongs to Lyn, but I just had to wear it for a pic. It is by Sophie Digard a French designer and made by ladies in Madagascar. It takes the ladies three weeks to make one scarf and each motif is of a different colour combination. The thread is so fine it is like sewing cotton, but has the feel of fine soft wool. It would be interesting to know what they have used.
Hope you enjoy this beauty - 'bye for now!